Eight Nigerians Accused of Cheating US Citizens Through Virtual World

The US Attorney General’s Office on Wednesday (Oct 20) indicted eight Nigerians involved in internet fraud and money laundering operating out of Cape Town, South Africa.

Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael Honig said eight people linked to the New Black Movement in Africa, also known as the “Black Axe,” were charged with a number of federal crimes.

“From at least 2011 to 2021 the Black Ax defendants and other conspirators worked together from Cape Town to commit online fraud, through love story scams and widespread advance payment schemes,” the US Attorney General added in a news release.

It added, “the perpetrators used social media sites, online dating sites, and VOIP (voice-over internet protocol) cell phone numbers to find and talk to victims in America using a number of pseudonyms.”

Seven defendants were arrested in South Africa on Tuesday (19/10) and waiting to be extradited to America.

They face charges of conspiracy to remit money, which carry up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. They are also facing charges of money laundering, which carry a prison sentence of 20 years and $500,000, as well as a charge of identity theft that carries a potential sentence of up to two years in prison. [jm/em]

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